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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Japan's popularity in Taiwan rises to 75% in latest poll

Kyodo

Taipei — About 75 percent of Taiwanese people are fond of Japan, significantly more than two years ago, according to a new poll commissioned by Japan's de facto embassy in Taiwan.

The poll, commission by the Interchange Association and conducted by Nielsen between Jan. 30 and Feb. 22, found that 75 percent of the respondents feel a particular affection toward Japan, a jump of 13 percentage points from the previous poll released in 2010. The poll covered 1,009 respondents between age 20 and 80.

The results stand in sharp contrast with those of an annual Japan-China joint poll released Wednesday that found that 64.5 percent of respondents in mainland China have a negative impression of Japan.

This year's poll also shows that 41 percent consider Japan their favorite country outside Taiwan, 8 percent preferred China and another 8 percent favored the United States.

Respondents under the age of 40 were most attracted to Japan's contemporary and popular culture, while those older than that were more interested in other aspects of Japan, including its nature, science and technology, education, economy, sports and politics.

On Japan-Taiwan relations, about 53 percent of the people polled said they are sound, up 25 percentage points from the previous poll.

Sixty-six percent of the respondents said last year's devastating earthquake, tsunami and the nuclear disaster they triggered made bilateral ties even closer, likely stemming from manifestations of Japanese gratitude for the outpouring of support Japan received from Taiwan and its people, which included ¥20 billion in donations.

But 30 percent felt ties remained unchanged and 4 percent said they did not get closer.

While 68 percent of the respondents said they continued to buy Japanese food products after the nuclear accident, 32 percent said they either reduced the amount of purchase or stopped purchasing altogether, citing safety concerns.

The nuclear accident also caused 51 percent of the respondents to suspend their travel plans, while 26 percent said they did not have the plan to visit Japan in the first place, 17 percent said they are planning to go and 7 percent said they have already visited Japan since the accident.



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